UFC

Evans finishes Sonnen in a hurry

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Damon Martin

Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the sport since 2004. His work has been published in CNN, Bleacher Report, MMAWeekly.com, Yahoo! Sports, UFC.com and SportsIllustrated.com. He also co-hosts The Great Debate Radio MMA podcast, and has appeared on ESPN Radio and SportsNet Radio. Follow him on Twitter.

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LAS VEGAS

Prior to UFC 167 taking place, Rashad Evans felt like his co-main event fight against Chael Sonnen was being overlooked as part of a huge card, so his mission was to make everyone remember why he is one of the best light heavyweights in the world.

He also had to deal with the fact that in facing Sonnen he was taking on a close friend and broadcast partner after the two fighters had worked together on several occasions as part of the UFC on FOX analyst team.

None of it mattered once the fight started, however, as Evans wasted no time in taking the fight to Sonnen turning the tables on the former collegiate wrestler with the first takedown of the fight. Once Evans put Sonnen down, he wouldn't get back up again.

Evans methodically worked to pass Sonnen's guard until he finally landed in the mount where he could start raining down a fire storm of punches. The former middleweight title contender rolled to try and avoid damage, but that only fueled Evans' offense from the top. Evans pounded away on Sonnen like a steak until the Oregon native appeared to tap out and immediately referee Herb Dean rushed in for the stoppage.

Evans has been a part of some of the most heated rivalries in UFC history including his battles with former teammate Jon Jones as well as fellow Ultimate Fighter season 10 coach Quinton "Rampage" Jackson. Fighting a friend was even harder according to Evans, but fighting is what all UFC competitors are paid to do and this was no different.

"It's part of the sport we play," Evans said after the victory.

Evans (19-3-1) now hopes to get back on the path towards another title shot, although he stated when speaking to UFC commentator Joe Rogan that he's willing to work hard to get there even if it takes a few more victories. Sonnen (29-14-1) will now head off to Brazil where he will take on Wanderlei Silva in the newest international edition of The Ultimate Fighter before the two face off in 2014.

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